Cooper-Young for Clean Water progress report
By Ginger Spickler
Quick! Name one present you got for Christmas last year in five seconds or less. 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . time’s up! Couldn’t do it? You’re probably not alone. But in a small village along a tributary of the Amazon River in Peru, there is a whole community of people who will never forget the Christmas gift that was given to them by Cooper-Young – a well that brings fresh, clean water to a people who previously had none.
You may remember that the LampLighter’s cover story in December was about Advent Conspiracy, a movement by hundreds of churches across the country (including Neighborhood Church in CY) to restore meaning and significance to the celebration of Christmas. One of the ways Neighborhood Church decided to participate in the conspiracy was to work toward raising enough money to build a well, and we asked our whole community to participate as part of a project we called “Cooper-Young for Clean Water.”
After all the money came in from the church and church members, friends and family who gave us donations instead of Christmas presents, the kids of Neighborhood Church and Peabody Elementary, and the rest of our community, the total funds raised amounted to more than $6,200! Considering that in previous years Neighborhood Church alone had given only about $500, it was truly amazing to see what a difference it made when our whole community participated.
And now, the well has been built in Colonia de Caco, a San Miguel neighborhood in Iparia, Peru. In areas like this, the infant mortality rate is 50 percent or higher, and many residents suffer and die from diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and malaria. Because of the remoteness of their tribe, these people have been largely forgotten by their government.
But today there are more than 250 people with access to clean water who formerly were getting water to meet all their needs from the dirty river. They have been trained on proper care of the pump (and who to contact if it needs maintenance), hygiene methods, disease transmission, and how to keep their water clean.
Fifty-eight year old community member and local fisherman, Rogelio Davila Rengifo, stated, “The old water source was far away and contaminated. I am happy now that our community has a new well with good water.”
So thank you to all who participated. The generosity of our community has truly made a difference to the people of another one.